You may recall that I sent out a newsletter last week which cited a great quote from the wonderful metaphysical poet, John Donne. Someone (and only one person out of a large email list) alerted me to the fact that I had mis-spelt John’s surname, erroneously putting Dunne.
Given that I studied English literature at Aberdeen University, my professor will no doubt been turning in his grave at my schoolgirl error – btw, he is probably dead, it was a very long time ago!
AND there would have been a time when I would have been absolutely mortified, worrying that my newsletter wasn’t perfect and that people might get the wrong impression of me and my work. But no more.
Over the years, I’ve come to realise that I’ve expended way too much energy worrying about other peoples’ opinion of me. None of us are perfect and it’s human to err.
Yes, it’s important to listen and learn from the views of others and take constructive comments on board. And yes, it’s VERY important to pay attention to detail (especially if you’re an airline pilot or a pharmacist!) but ultimately, the person who’s opinion you have to live with and reconcile is your own.
When anxiety around the need to be perfect paralyses gainful activity, then surely it’s time to lower the expectations and strive for excellence and not perfection – knowing it’s inevitable that on the odd occasion, you’ll fall short? 10 years down the line, will you remember that I mis-spelt Donne (probably yes, now that I’ve drawn your attention to it! haha!) but will it really matter? Provided I keep going, focussing on what inspires me, it’s all good.
Are there times in your life when you’ve worried too much about the opinions of others? Have you put on a facade of perfection? Have you spent too much time ‘sweating the small stuff’? When would now would be a good time to stop doing that?